so you have decided it is time to update your family portrait. great! now what?
i thought i would make you a handy checklist for a successful family portrait session. here are my top 10 ways to have a great family session:
10. Pick your Photographer. If you already have a photographer you use regularly move on to number nine. If not, you need to find one. Ask friends, search the internet. Look at their work if you like what you see you will like your finished product too. Ask questions of the photographer/s you are considering. Make sure you ask for pricing, and what is included and what extras cost!
9. Pick your location and time. Talk to your photographer about different locations you might want to use. Is there a certain place you and your family like to go or do? It does not have to be a park, it could be the zoo, botanical gardens, at a special restaurant, think about the things you do and you want to remember. Look around your neighborhood as you drive around. Maybe there's a place right around the corner to you. As for time the best light is first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon so dont be shocked if your photographer does not want to schedule your session at noon!
8. What to wear? Once you have your location nailed down you can think about what you and your family want to wear. Make sure you pick outfits that are comfortable and match your personality. You want everyone to coordinate with each other, but they dont have to all be wearing the same colors. You can find inspiration on pinterest and here is a great blog about The Right Attire.
7. Posing your family. Your photographer will have some ideas of what looks good, but you might want somethings that you have seen or you want to make sure you get dad with the kids, etc. I know I love it when my clients already have a few ideas of what they want. You can take advantage of the location for posing ideas as well. If you have a large group of people stairs can come in handy for getting everybody cuddled up close.
Remember in photos closer is better! A small gap between people can look MUCH bigger in pictures.
If you are looking for classic posed pictures you would not want to hire a lifestyle photographer. Look at the family pictures your photographer has and make sure they match (somewhat at least) to what you have in mind.
6. The kids... you want them to be happy about the session not stressed! Talk with them about the session beforehand. Have them help with the planning process! Maybe they could help pick out their clothes? or the location if you have it narrowed down to 2 let them pick witch one THEY want to do the session at. Show them pictures that you like of your family and other families and explain why it is important to capture your family in pictures. If they are involved they will be much more willing to cooperate!!
5.Pinterest! It is a great tool to help you gather ideas. Share your boards with your photographer so s/he can have an idea of what you like. As I mentioned before it's a great place to get wardrobe ideas and posing ideas as well!
4. Communicate with your photographer!! Make sure you tell them exactly what you want and if your not sure ask for suggestions. Make sure you know exactly what is included in your package, how payment is made, what costs extra, etc. Ask as many questions as you need to. There is no such thing as a stupid question.
3. Props? Do you want to include props in your session? I am not a prop heavy photographer, but one of my favorite family photos I have ever taken includes a prop. Why I like it so much is there is a story behind the prop. Dad plays the guitar for baby Sam all the time and she loves it. It makes her giggle. Mom brought the guitar to our session and I had them just do what they normally do and I love love love it. So give some thought to props they can add to your story, you just dont want them to distract from it.
2. Not everyone needs to be looking at the camera to make it a great family portrait! The viewers eye will follow the eyes in the picture and when there is connections made in the picture it tells more of a story and keeps the viewers interest longer. When everyone is looking at the camera smiling, although a great picture, it is not as interesting and has very little to keep the viewer looking.
1. The MOST important thing to do is have FUN!!! A family session should be fun not stressful! It is one of my favorite sessions because I love capturing parents and their children enjoying each other. I tell my families to play with their kids and let me take pictures of them doing that. A few poses then play! The play ones are always my favorite pictures (and usually the parents too!) Try to relax about it. If Jake has to bring his stuffed animal, so what? You will miss that stuffed animal when Jake is off to college! Let your photographer take some pictures with your child and his beloved stuffed animal and 20 yrs from now you will be SOOOOO glad they did!
Contact me to talk about your next family session!